Cassandra's heart stopped for one fleeting instant when her eyes reconnected with those of King Amadeo. Her very soul was filled with a force of...something. Something she couldn't identify. It wasn't lust. It wasn't fear. What was it?
But he didn't come to see you, you fool! Move along. Get out of his way so that he can find what he's looking for.
"You're who I'm looking for."
The words were so identical to Cassandra's thoughts that she decided she must have simply imagined them. Sighing, she brushed a strand of hair - goodness, how long had it been since she'd bathed? - from her face and bit her lip. She stepped aside to let the King and his company pass.
"Miss?" The King's tone became more urgent. He reined in his horse and cleared his throat.
Cassandra felt as though the world around her had completely ceased its bustle. Eyes wide, she held her hand over her ferociously beating heart. "Me?" she squeaked. That sounded overly eloquent, Cassandra. Get yourself together!
"Yeah. Yes." The King's voice sounded slightly unsure, and Cassandra looked around to see if he honestly was addressing her. Yes, he was; nobody else was engaging him in conversation.
"What do you want of me?" Cassandra asked.
"I'd like to talk to you."
Wishing the King's words could be true, but knowing they weren't, Cassandra shook her head. "Your Highness, in all due respect, you have the wrong girl. There are many women in this city who look similar to me." I'm nothing special.
"But I'm sure it's you," the King insisted. He slid from his mount and took a step in Cassandra's direction. "I'm sure it's you," he repeated, though more to himself than to Cassandra.
"But, Your Highness, you're wrong. I really don't think I'm who you're looking for."
"Yes, you are. I know you are, because..." the King paused.